Learning How To Learn

To take the advanced placement course or not…..

As you begin to think about classes in high school, you will need to consider whether or not you are up for taking advanced placement courses. Often school administrators and teachers forget that students that meet the qualifications for AP classes may also qualify for special education.  Therefore accommodations must be provided in those AP classes for those individuals.  

Some key things to keep in mind:

1. If you have an IEP, you have every right to the accommodations in the AP class as long as those accommodations are stated in your IEP. Often the IEP team or the teacher teaching the AP class encourages the student with the IEP NOT to take the AP class because of the difficulty to provide those accommodations in the AP setting. Perhaps the AP class is not team taught and therefore there will need to be a class aid or a second teacher in that room to see that the student with the IEP is getting the attention that is prescribed in the IEP. Or the teacher is claiming that the content does not allow for the differentiated instruction that is needed so that the student with the IEP is learning.  Though these are valid concerns that the school and administration may have; the student is still to be provided the needed accommodations in order to participate in the AP class.

2. If you are an in an AP class and you are struggling and, you are being pressured to drop that AP class; you should know: Tittle II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 makes it clear that a school district cannot exclude a student with a disability, solely on the bases of that disability, from the benefit of AP classes.   Therefore you cannot be forced to drop that class. As a qualified student for that AP class, you cannot be denied the services or aids you need to succeed in that class. 

Certainly when considering taking an AP class, you should understand that there will be more work required. But if you are legitimately qualified to be in that class, then you should be able to keep up and understand the content.

Some key things you should have a handle on when beginning this journey into the AP world.

Time Management- Manage your time wisely.   You will need to be sure that you are devoting enough time to the class.

Organization- Make sure that you are organized. Organization goes a long way in a course that requires lots of reading and projects that have to be managed.

Advocate– Be prepared to advocate for you when the time comes. This means asking for help;   joining a study group if needed; and talking to the teacher before you get too far behind if you are having difficulty.

Takin an AP class has many advantages to getting into college and boosting your GPA. But consider all the issues when thinking about adding an AP class to your schedule.

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